The MX-5 Miata of the Month from

October 2003

John Sugimoto

Congratulations to John on his selection for the October Miata of the Month!

Anyone reading this knows that the MX-5 elicits unsolicited comments and drivers enter into conversations with complete strangers while piloting their roadsters. Regardless of gender, age, or socioeconomic status, the Miata holds a universal appeal that engenders a response. Whether it is a teenager commenting on the “nice rims,” a lady chanting the “cute car” mantra, an “I used to have an MGB” declaration by an adult male, a young child shouting “Zoom zoom zoom,” or a silent nod and hint of a smile from a low-rider gangster, communication is initiated by the observer which permits a response from the driver. And if the driver happens to be an outreach worker sensitive toward noticing personal needs, a conversation can develop that segues into an offer of care and assistance.

Whenever a helping relationship is being established, the sincerity of the provider can be suspect. But interpersonal barriers disappear when the question is asked, “Can you drive a stick?” while simultaneously moving to the passenger seat and holding out the key. The offer is almost always declined, but this simple gesture of trust does wonders in building a downtrodden individual’s hope and self-esteem. The world may deem such action as crazy but the greater value of this particular MX-5 is not in its amassed molecular structure but in its transfiguration into a priceless tool for relationship building.

Those who designed and produced this little auto envisioned it as improving the owner’s quality of life but probably did not extrapolate beyond that level into the potential difference it might make in the lives of those who simply observe and comment upon its existence. Serendipitous Miata metaphysics!

John Sugimoto is a retired police officer and Vietnam veteran who does volunteer community outreach in northern Colorado. The car is a 1997 M-Edition. His only regret is not having a hard top during the Rocky Mountain winter.

Previous Miata of the Month Winners

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